Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Don't Need You: The Curse of Not Being a Fixer-Upper

The following events are not currently happening in my life, so no one panic or worry this is you.  Trust me, it isn't.  I'm just musing.

I have gone on dates with many men who are looking for someone to fix or mold and, it seems, once they realize I am not a fixer-upper, I get left in the dust for someone who is.  I speak on behalf of many of my gal pals as well.

What is this?!

You want someone who has been traumatized and is facing deep emotional, psychological and/or physical challenges over a perfectly stable one?  That's cool...just...interesting.  Good for you for being that person who can help them along and all of that because everyone deserves to be loved, especially those who don't know how to love and you are trying to teach them.  Being honest, I confess I would prefer these girls find their life partners before me because they need someone and I seem to be managing just fine even though I would find having a partner in crime quite nice.

You want someone who is ten years younger than me and not a clue about life or an income or an education?  If that's what you need...

I'm not bitter, just baffled.

Which leads me to this small story.

To quote How to Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (don't judge), "Well, love you get over in two months, big love you get over in two years, and great love, well great love... changes your life."

Most people end up marrying their great loves; I did not. I will spare you the arduous, painful, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking story, but I will tell you that three or so years after the conclusion of our relationship, I had a chance to speak with him during a chance encounter at the gym.

We talked for about twenty minutes about his upcoming marriage and I celebrated with him, feeling joy in spite of the previous devastation I'd endured.  As we exited the gym, I asked, "You always told me you had no reason for breaking up with me, you just weren't sure.  You never budged from that stance.  You have nothing to lose now, so I'm wondering if you could finally tell me what the real reason was?"  

He thought for a moment and replied, "You know, I never felt as if you needed me.  I felt your life would be better without me in it, that you were going places I was holding you back from.  I think that is it.  You just didn't need me.  I know you said you did and felt you did, I just didn't."

I understand needing to be needed.  I know I couldn't be with someone whose life I felt I was not improving.

So do these men ditch me and my stellar gal pals because they don't feel we need them?  I know there isn't an answer and I don't want one really, just musing.  I particularly don't want to hear, "You don't want those guys anyway."  I already know this.

But this does put me between a rock and a hard place.  I am a complete and happy person.  This is not going to change.  I want very much to have someone to share my life with and I do all I can to make sure the men I date know they are a big part of my life.  But I feel I am frequently being overlooked for those who aren't in that happy place like myself.  My intent is not to be judgy so please try to take this the way I mean it.


S.R. Braddy said...

I think I had this conversation with you once...

I think I'd rather be with someone who WANTS to be with me rather than someone who thinks they NEED to be with me. The word "need" just strikes me as unhealthily co-dependant.

Of course, it could also be a "need" in the sense that "I never knew how much I was missing until I found you," which I guess wouldn't be so bad.

Larissa said...

I want you. I need you. Oh baby. Oh baby.

Larissa said...

Seriously though, I think we DID have that conversation. When I say I "need" someone, I don't mean that I "have to have them or I'll die." I have lived a wonderful life up until now and I will continue doing so even if they are not part of it. What I mean is that I "need" them in the sense that I want them to know they do improve my life and I do enjoy them being there. And, when the right man comes along, that "need" will mean I do trust his life decisions and would trust him enough to go into the business of life with him.

miss kristen said...

I have never understood that train of thought. Why you want someone you need to 'fix' is beyond me.

I understand everyone comes with their baggage and everyone needs to be fixed to a certain extent, but the scenarios you mention sound way too co-dependant.

I think for me 'need' isn't the best word for this situation. I always have told Mr. Wonderful-"I CAN live without you, I just don't WANT to." Wanting someone and needing someone are two different things in my book-and I would rather be wanted than needed.

Shayla said...

Yay for Tad Hamilton!!

Katie Robertson said...

I think a lot of it is people feeling insufficient. How much easier is it to put yourself on the line and go out with someone who you think is just as lost as you are. It's much more intimiditating, or so I've been told, to go after someone who already has a goal in mind. You have to keep up with people who are already on their way and that takes work and a gameplan. Also I think part of it is selfishness. Someone says to themself "I plan for x in my future, but if I find a spouse who wants y, that could be a problem. I'll just find someone who hasn't made that decision yet and maybe they will go along with x with me and be willing to compromise the plans they have not yet made for me and my plans." Did that make sense at all?

Willem said...

I need you, sums it up.
That's the reason we get together i guess we don't have everything on our own that's impossible.
You need someone who can look at your situation from outside your own perspective and tell you what's going on... a lot of people are complicated they simply can't do it themselves.

I think people unconsciously take advantage of those little needs to trick them into a relationship.
This is getting a bit too complicated...

Larissa said...

Stephen, I found that old post we were talking about: